The New York Jets offensive line has been a wild roller coaster ride throughout the 2021 season.
There have been tremendous highs and rock bottom lows.
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He Didn’t Come Here to Sit on the Bench
Right before the final buzzer at 4 pm ET on Tuesday, November 2, Douglas struck a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs for a rare player-for-player swap.
It was a deal they were working on for over a week and they finally came to terms by sending not often used tight end, Daniel Brown, to KC in exchange for veteran offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Shortly after the deal became official LDT went to social media to make a statement and why he approved this trade:
“Saying goodbye to KC is not an easy decision. When I opted out last year, I promised myself to do everything in my power to come back on the field. Joining the Jets gives me the best opportunity to play.”
That last part of his statement is absolutely fascinating. For those who don’t know, Duvernay-Tardif had a no-trade clause in his contract, which is unusual in the NFL, so that gave him rare power to approve or decline any possible trade.
One of the main reasons he waived that clause to come to the green and white was because “joining the Jets” provided him his best opportunity to play. He didn’t come here to ride the bench, LDT wants to play and that raises some interesting questions with 10 games left in the 2021 season.
“I plan on playing this year,” Duvernay-Tardif spoke to the media after joining the Jets. “That’s why I made the decision (to waive the no-trade clause) and why I’m here today because I want to play football.”
Time to Bring New in, Send Old Out
The natural follow-up question is how realistic is it that LDT can compete for playing time sooner rather than later? He hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2019.
Duvernay-Tardif chose to opt out of the 2020 season and hasn’t played in 2021 due to a hand injury and coaching decision.
“While I haven’t played in a game in a while, we still practice pretty hard in Kansas City. Actually, I feel in great shape and that’s probably because I didn’t play in 2020 and I want to use that as an advantage. Now it’s just a matter of transitioning, learning the culture, playbook, and the system. Nothing is given in this league so I have to go out and try to earn a job.”
LDT also explained he was battling through rust and the hand injury during training camp this offseason which explains why he hasn’t been dressing. The injury kind of took him out of the running for the battle at right guard.
They had been in talks for three weeks prior to this deal coming to fruition. The Chiefs had to agree, the Jets had to agree, and then LDT had to approve everything.
He has continued to start because the Jets haven’t had any other viable option to push him, that changed right ahead of the NFL trade deadline.
LDT has started 57 games at right guard and won a Super Bowl championship during his time with the Chiefs.
While he won’t play vs the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football, there wasn’t enough of a turnaround, he should be at the very least competing for reps sooner rather than later.
For Jets fans who have been forced to watch GVR “protect his quarterback” (quotations used very loosely), LDT learning everything and eventually starting can’t come soon enough.